Birthday candles

it’s my birthday! I just returned home from Wanderlust in Vermont and came home with really important lessons learned. None of them had to do with physical asana (poses). As I reflect on the weekend there were a few things that stood out: 1) Vermont, especially Stratton, is very much like the Seattle/Northwest in terms of weather, lifestyle, food, and the way people spoke and smiled. It was really refreshing. 2) I’ve never seen so many Prius’ and Volkswagen’s in one parking lot and 3) I’ve got a lifetime of work to do on myself.

My friend R and I have been talking about going to this weekend since we finished our teacher training here in Connecticut last summer. We were exhausted from the training (and broke) and couldn’t do it. This year, we booked our tickets and signed up for 3 classes per day along with other fun side classes with John Friend, Elena Brauer, Rodney Yee & Colleen Saidman, Deepak Chopra and on and on. We were off for an intensive study with few breaks. We got there and it was as Rodney Yee said, “a buffet of yoga”. You pick and choose without having to commit to any style. Our classes were great although scheduled too close together and after 3 hours of asana, my body needed some savasana like nothing else (which I did take a pranayama (breathwork) class and I am so thankful for that. It was intense but really fun.

So, in a nutshell, Friday and Saturday was lots of yoga, some lecture that was teacher based and an amazing Farm to Table dinner on Saturday night followed by birthday wine and a spinning hotel room. I thought this was yoga yet I got drunk. Well, to my credit, I realized I did not drink any water for two days, just coffee, and the meals I had consisted of the words Luna and bar in them. Regardless of that, I felt a buzz on the first glass and kept going. I don’t know why. Well, yes I do. I’m seeking something. I’m seeking to fill a void that I’ve been trying to fill my entire life. That void of having someone tell me that they love me and be completely free of any doubt that they are devoted to my mind, body and spirit. That’s not too much to ask, is it? So the weekend continues, I have to skip my 8am meditation class today because the room refused to stop spinning. I drank 2 large bottles of water and out of desperation due to the lack of no cups in the hotel, literally made hot water in the coffee maker, poured my Starbucks coffee into the pot and drank it straight from the pot. How sexy yogic is that? Holy cow. I digress… I decided right then and there to grow up. Seriously, I’m 42 or 21(2) today I really am finally moving to a place where I have peace and happiness in my soul but then this happens and I move back to square one, kind of.

I pull on my yoga clothes and decide to fake it (the coffee and water actually brought me back to 95%) and rush up to the Krishna Das Speakeasy. It was an intimate room with soft couches and 50 or so people. KD sat at a chair at the front of the room without any ego to speak of. I say this because walking into that room I immediately felt the calm, relaxed, open hearted and beautiful man that was there and the love was reflected off the wood paneled walls. It was not silly, smiley love, it was l.o.v.e. Pure, unfiltered, unwavering without any conditions or terms, non-clinging and non-judgemental, love. He spoke of his guru and tears came to his eyes. He struggles with the same issues that I have been fighting. My weekend became complete and found its meaning.

I came home with no plans for myself other than a run. I walked into my apartment after the run and lit a bunch of candles for myself. They are essentially my birthday candles, all over the apartment and on the patio. We’ve had a ton of rain out here recently and outside there are six candles and two were soaked through and would not light. These birthday candles suddenly became a metaphor for this part of my life. I have worked to reveal my soft & bright side and find peace with the hard spots (wet wicks) in my life – I’m even learning to love the hard spots but regardless of the work that I have done, there will always be more cultivating to do and even if all the candles may light tomorrow night, they may not next time but I’ll keep at it – every day, in as many moments as I can remember to do so. We are never perfect beings on a permanent basis but we can choose to do the daily work to cultivate a spirit and moments of pure, true love for life and every moment that is experienced and over time, the moments happen with greater and greater frequency. I must say, that’s a pretty kick ass birthday gift. xoxo

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